A familiar name in the enterprise sector, before it became more mainstream, Jabra continues to strive to hold its own in the TWS market. Its latest launch is the Jabra Elite 5, a pair of earbuds with hybrid ANC. However, does it offer what it takes to lure consumers away from more affordable brands such as boAt and Oppo or even similarly priced offerings from JBL and Skullcandy? Let’s find out!
Design-wise, the Elite 5 has a slim in-ear profile and fits well when I plug it in. The unit I’ve reviewed has a pleasant gold-beige colour and comes with four additional ear gels. The carry case is compact and easy to carry around on my quick morning walks. Even during extended use, the earbuds continued to feel comfortable.
I could use the press button on the left earbud to cycle through ANC mode, hear-through mode to let in ambient sound, or just turn it off entirely. On the right earbud, I have access to play or pause via a single press, and to the next track via a double press. All controls can be easily customised in-app.
The Jabra Sound+ app is easy to use and lets me customise the active noise cancellation levels I want. It has a bunch of music presets - neutral, speech, bass boost, treble boost and energise profiles.
When I wanted to drown out the office hum but didn’t exactly want to listen to music, I used the ‘Soundscape’ setting that gives me the option to listen to ocean waves, rainy day or songbirds,
‘Find my Jabra’ on the app is sure to be handy in case I ever need to locate the earbuds - it shows the last known location. However, it lacks a tweeter feature which would have made the device beep audibly when out of sight.
The Elite 5 has an immersive soundstage and offers a balanced mix of bass and treble. Those wanting more control over the equaliser, can turn to the app to finetune the acoustic profile.
I went old-school with Shankar Mahadevan’s Breathless, which is a pleasure to listen to on the Jabra Elite 5. Each instrument came through quite clearly on the buds and overall the acoustics are very impressive. In Daxson’s trance number When Tomorrow Comes, there is clear separation audible between the electronic instruments and vocals, which is likely to please most audiophiles.
Equipped with Bluetooth multipoint, the earbuds deliver well during phone calls and online meetings. This would be courtesy of the six microphones embedded, both internally and externally.
While there was no issue with the clarity of my voice, I was told the volume seemed low. The auto-answer feature channeled back to the phone’s speaker when connected to two devices, and having to manually switch during the call to the TWS took an extra second or two. Hopefully, this quirk can be fixed in a future firmware update.
The Jabra Elite 5 promises a battery life of 7 hours, and it consistently delivered this with ANC on. Along with the charging case, I got almost 28-30 hours of playtime. Switching off the ANC mode should easily give you more juice. A quick 10-minute charge gave me more than an hour of battery life, which is a massive plus while in a hurry.
Besides USB-C, the Elite 5 case supports QI-wireless charging as well.
With an excellent soundstage, Bluetooth multipoint, and satisfactory mic quality of the Jabra Elite 5, the price tag seems justifiable. Considering the fact that with ANC on, it offers a better battery life than many premium TWS earbuds, I’d definitely say this is a winner.
Pros: Great acoustic profile, excellent battery life, multipoint support
Cons: Low mic volume while on call.